How to Make Block Light Sources for Your Minecraft Build - dummies

How to Make Block Light Sources for Your Minecraft Build

By Adam Cordeiro, Emily Nelson

Minecraft uses lots of different kinds of blocks. Some of them — glowstone, redstone lamp, and netherrack, to be specific — give off light. Check out the specifics of each block light type.


Glowstone is a common way to produce light. To make glowstone, you need 4 glowstone dust — which makes sense. As for how to get hold of glowstone dust, that’s a bit more complicated.

You can get glowstone dust one of three ways: Trade a villager for it, kill a witch, or mine it from the Nether. Note that not all villagers trade glowstone, but some do. Option # 2: killing a witch.

A witch is easy to spot — the purple robe and the black pointy hat are dead giveaways. The best way to kill a witch is stay out of range of splash potions and use a bow and arrow. When you succeed in killing a witch, she drops 1 to 3 different types of items. You can get as little as 1 and as many as 6 of each item.

To mine glowstone, you’ll need to venture into the Nether. After you arrive in the Nether, walk around and explore until you find glowstone. Then, all you have to do is mine it (left click). It will drop 2 to 4 glowstone dust.

After you have 4 glowstone dust, it’s time to make glowstone. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the crafting table.

  2. Place the glowstone dust into the crafting table, with one in the left bottom box, one in the left middle box, one in the center box, and one in the bottom middle box.


  3. Take the glowstone block in exchange for the glowstone dust.

Glowstone is a useful block for lighting a room. You can build with it or simply place it in a corner that needs a bit of extra light. You can also place glowstone blocks outside to light the exterior of buildings or perhaps a pathway.

Redstone lamps

To make a redstone lamp, you need 1 glowstone block and 4 redstone dust. You’re probably an old hand at making glowstone blocks. As for the redstone dust, you get that by mining redstone and then smelting it in a furnace.

When you’ve gathered the glowstone block and 4 redstone dust, follow these instructions to make a redstone lamp:

  1. Open the crafting table and place the glowstone in the center box.

  2. Place the redstone dust in the crafting table, with 1 redstone dust in the left middle box, 1 in the top middle box, 1 in the bottom middle box, and 1 in the right middle box.

  3. Take the redstone lamp in exchange for the glowstone and the redstone dust.


You may have noticed that the redstone lamp isn’t very bright. That’s because you haven’t powered it yet. To power a redstone lamp, you need a redstone torch. And to make a redstone torch, you need a stick and 1 redstone dust.

With the stick and redstone dust in hand, follow these instructions to make a redstone torch:

  1. Place the redstone dust in the center box of the crafting table.

  2. Place the stick in the bottom middle box.

  3. Take the torch in exchange for the stick and redstone dust.


Right-click to place the torch next to the redstone lamp, and — voilà! — the lamp lights up. You have a working redstone lamp. Nice, huh?


Netherrack doesn’t glow like glowstone or lamps. Instead, you have to set netherrack on fire to get its light. To get netherrack, you have to go on a bit of an adventure — through a nether portal.


When you have 16 obsidian, you can make a portal by following these instructions:

  1. Place 4 obsidian blocks on the ground wherever you want to locate the base of the portal.

  2. Stack 4 more blocks vertically on each side of the portal.

  3. Place the last 4 obsidian blocks at the top, connecting the two sides.


The nether portal doesn’t let you through if you don’t activate it first by using steel and flint. To make steel and flint, you need 1 iron ingot and 1 flint. You can make an iron ingot by smelting an iron ore, but obtaining flint is a little more difficult. To get flint, you need to mine gravel.

After you have the iron ingot and flint in hand, the rest is a piece of cake:

  1. Open the crafting table and place the iron ingot in the left middle box.

  2. Place the flint in the center box of the crafting table.


  3. Take the steel and flint in exchange for the iron ingot and the flint.

To activate the nether portal, have your steel and flint ready and right-click on an obsidian block that’s a part of the portal. A purple misty wall appears inside the portal. Now, your portal is activated!

Before you go into the Nether, make sure that you have a pickaxe with you.

Ready? Jump into the nether portal so that you can teleport to the Nether. When you arrive, step out of the portal, but watch out for fire and lava.


When you exit the portal, look down at your feet. See the red/pink blocks you’re standing on? That’s netherrack. Take out your pickaxe and mine as much as you think you need for the lighting.

When you’ve gathered as much netherrack as you need, jump back into the portal to teleport back to where you came from. Take the netherrack to the spot where you want light and set it on fire using the flint and steel you made earlier. (Just right-click to spark the fire.)


When you place netherrack and light it, stand back and watch it for a minute or two, to ensure that the fire doesn’t spread elsewhere from the netherrack. You don’t want to come home one day and have your structure burned down!